Sunday, 17 November 2019

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American on hunger strike in Burmese prison

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Detained Burmese born American, Nyi Nyi Aung (a.k.a) Kyaw Zaw Lwin, is on a hunger strike in protest against ill-treatment of prisoners by authorities in Insein prison, family sources said.

Daw Khin Khin, aunt of Nyi Nyi Aung, who met him on Monday, told Mizzima that her nephew was on hunger strike to protest against ill-treatment of prisoners.

Daw Khin Khin, who got permission to talk to Ko Nyi Nyi Aung for 20 minutes over telephone told Mzzima, since the prison-in charge has been unleashing extreme oppression and injustice on prisoners, Nyi Nyi Aung started a hunger strike.  

“When I met him on Monday, he looked as if he had just got up from bed. When I asked him, he said he is on hunger strike to protest against the ill-treatment of prisoners by jail authorities. He refused cold drinks and asked me not to bring anything in the next visit,” Daw Khin Khin said.

“I was so concerned that I forgot to ask how many days he had been on hunger strike. He looked weak and seemed to have been on hunger strike for days, but I am not sure how many days,” she added.

Nyi Nyi Aung, (40) was arrested in September at Rangoon International airport, when he alighted from a Thai Airways International flight by the Special Branch of the Police. He was charged with fraud, possessing a fake national identity card, and possessing foreign currency.

“He said there is no equality and justice in the prison. While political prisoners are being severely oppressed, some are enjoying special privileges and are even allowed to go home secretly. Some of them are only in prison in name. So, he is on hunger strike protesting such inequalities,” Daw Khin Khin added.

Nyi Nyi Aung was initially tried at the Minglardon Township court but later transferred to the Southern Rangoon District court. On Friday, the court heard the testimony of a prosecution witness, a police official.

Nyi Nyi Aung was a student activist during the 1988 student-led protests, which was brutally crushed by the military. He later fled to Thailand after the military took over. He later migrated to United States, where he was naturalized as a citizen.

The Burmese military junta’s mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, earlier accused Nyi Nyi Aung of visiting Burma eight times in the past and of instigating public unrest but his charge-sheet does not include any of the accusations.

His aunt said, she would go to the United States Embassy and inform officials of his hunger strike and precarious state of health.

“I will inform the US embassy that he looked weak and pale. And I am worried about his health. He is doing what he is doing for all the Burmese people,” she added.

She said, during her meeting with her nephew, police officials kept a watch over them and were seen taking notes.

Edited by Ye Yint Aung


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